Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 17-18
Paul understood the role that Christ called him to: to preach the gospel. It was a call he received directly from Jesus himself on the road to Damascus. This would become Paul’s life work: preaching the gospel. In proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, Paul spoke from the hesrt, not from the head. Paul knew that fancy words, the wisdom of the world, even impassioned rhetoric, would never convince someone of faith. He knew these approaches “emptied the power of the cross” because one cannot be argued into believing. One cannot be led through a linear progression to arrive at faith. Paul knew his witness and testimony must come from the heart and not the head.
This is because the cross defies logic and understanding from the human perspective. Paul writes, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”. That a loving father would allow his son to die for the mistakes of others is illogical. That Jesus came for the very purpose of going to the cross for our sins is hard to understand. Why would someone do that? If one approaches the cross and the message of the gospel trying to make sense of it all, then it does appear as foolishness. Faith comes from the heart, not the head.
Jesus spoke to Paul and gave him directions to follow. In Paul’s mind this encounter had to seem crazy, really impossible. “Did that just happen?” would have been foremost in his mind. But Jesus wasn’t working in Paul’s mind, He was working in his heart. Ananias was sent to Paul and, in the name of Jesus, healed his blindness and Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was baptized and soon began preaching in the synagogues. Paul opened his heart to Jesus and the Holy Spirit came flooding in. From then on, Paul was dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all he met. The story was always from the heart, because that is where Jesus lived inside of Paul.
Our task is the same: “go and make disciples of all nations”. Some of us will do that by telling others the good news of Jesus Christ and what He has done in our lives. Some of us will show Jesus in our heart by how we live our life. Some of us will let the love of Christ tell the story as it spills out of our hearts and into the lives of those affected by our actions. There are many ways to proclaim the good news. May we open our hearts today, allowing the gospel of Christ to radiate out in our words, actions, and deeds.